Our Purpose

Our Purpose

To accelerate bold meaningful change, assisting BOP communities and the environment to flourish.

Community Stories


New Funding Will Amplify ‘Impact’ In BOP

New Funding Will Amplify ‘Impact’ In BOP

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New Funding Will Amplify ‘Impact’ In BOP

Businesses traditionally focus on making a profit – but a growing number are now committed to making a positive social or environmental impact as well. The Ākina Foundation are experts at supporting others to create that ‘impact’ by...

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Cooking Up Community Spirit In Tūrangi

Cooking Up Community Spirit In Tūrangi

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Cooking Up Community Spirit In Tūrangi

Small towns are often tight-knit ones thanks to events like Tūrangi’s community dinners which help bring people together and seal those neighbourhood bonds. Twice a month (between February and November) volunteers arrive at the town’s...

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School Children Ready To Embrace Te Ao Maori

School Children Ready To Embrace Te Ao Maori

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School Children Ready To Embrace Te Ao Māori

Imagine a world where we understand our local history from all perspectives, have empathy with iwi, can practice tikanga in our daily lives and pronounce Māori words correctly.   Soon an entire generation of school children will have a more...

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Guiding Locals Toward Affordable & Eco-Friendly Funerals

Guiding Locals Toward Affordable & Eco-Friendly Funerals

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Guiding Locals Toward Affordable & Eco-Friendly Funerals

Historically, births and deaths have always been handled by family and friends without the need for professional help. While birthing has been reclaimed by midwives, most funerals still involve a funeral director, a costly casket and ceremony –...

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Getting Taupo's workforce ready to face the future

Getting Taupo's workforce ready to face the future

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Getting Taupō’s Workforce Ready To Face The Future

Growing a provincial town’s economy in the wake of COVID-19 is no easy task but Enterprise Great Lake Taupō is certainly up for the challenge. The economic development agency was first established in 2007 and will this year embark on an...

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Home Maintenance Help For Tūwharetoa Homeowners

Home Maintenance Help For Tūwharetoa Homeowners

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Home Maintenance Help For Tūwharetoa Homeowners

You can give a man a fish, or you can teach him how to fish – and Tūwharetoa Settlement Trust is taking the latter approach with their housing strategy called He Iwi Kāinga which has just received a $320,000 grant from BayTrust’s strategic...

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Restoring, Regenerating & Rebuilding Waiariki Waterways

Restoring, Regenerating & Rebuilding Waiariki Waterways

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Restoring, Regenerating & Rebuilding Waiariki’s Waterways

Stream banks, roadside verges and rail corridors around Rotorua are brimming with gorse and blackberry – and Tipu Waiariki Charitable Trust sees a major environmental opportunity to transform our region’s landscape. By removing weeds and...

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Dining Hall At Rangitahi Marae Gets Major Facelift

Dining Hall At Rangitahi Marae Gets Major Facelift

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Dining Hall At Rangitahi Marae Gets Major Facelift

Hospitality is a cornerstone of Māori culture but ageing facilities have made it difficult to look after local whanau and guests at Rangitahi Marae in Murupara. The marae’s wharekai (dining hall) is over 40 years-old. Plumbing is starting to...

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Bringing Nature’s Beauty Back From The Brink

Bringing Nature’s Beauty Back From The Brink

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Bringing Nature’s Beauty Back From The Brink

One of Aotearoa’s prettiest, tastiest and rarest native plants is making a comeback in the Eastern Bay of Plenty thanks to local communities and conservationists. Ngutukākā (also known as kākābeak) has striking red flowers shaped like a...

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Volunteer Matching Service To Launch In Taupo

Volunteer Matching Service To Launch In Taupo

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Volunteer Matching Service To Launch In Taupo

Volunteering for a good cause is something many Kiwis love to do – but finding the right organisation to help in the right way, isn’t always straight-forward. A new project called Volunteer Taupo is being developed in the central North...

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Improving Outcomes One Possum At A Time

Improving Outcomes One Possum At A Time

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Improving Outcomes One Possum At A Time

Korehāhā Whakahau is more than a typical pest eradication programme – it is system change in action. The aspirational project aims to eliminate possums from 4700ha within Ngāti Awa’s rohe – including Whakatāne, Ōhope and Ōhiwa...

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Switching Focus From Sea To Land

Switching Focus From Sea To Land

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Switching Focus From Sea To Land

When a former cargo vessel was donated by Stoney Creek Shipping to YWAM (Youth With A Mission) Aotearoa in Tauranga in early 2019, the vision was clear – raise some funds, transform it into a medical aid ship, and set sail for remote Pacific Island...

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Restoring Kiwi & Native Birdsong At Lake Okareka

Restoring Kiwi & Native Birdsong At Lake Okareka

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Restoring Kiwi & Native Birdsong At Lake Okareka

The view across Lake Okareka to the bush-clad hills on the northeastern shoreline is serene – but this could soon change drastically thanks to the havoc wreaked by wallabies, possums and rats. Until recently, the 80ha Okareka Scenic Reserve near...

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Solar Energy Powers School Camp Forward

Solar Energy Powers School Camp Forward

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Solar Energy Powers School Camp Forward

Ngamuwahine Outdoor Education Lodge, in the lower Kaimais, is where lifelong memories are made for 3000 school children every year. Eleven schools currently send their students there on school camp to enjoy outdoor adventures such as kayaking,...

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Digital Learning Ready To Go Viral In Murupara

Digital Learning Ready To Go Viral In Murupara

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Digital Learning Ready To Go Viral In Murupara 

Digital Learning Ready To Go Viral In Murupara    There’s no doubt the internet has changed our education system and the way Kiwi kids learn – the trouble is, not everyone has access to it. That’s why Te Aka Toitū...

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Helping People Take Control of their chronic illness

Helping People Take Control of their chronic illness

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Helping People Take Control of their chronic illness

Imagine not being able to walk from your bedroom to the living room without feeling exhausted and needing to lie down again. For tens of thousands of New Zealanders, that’s the reality of life with chronic fatigue and pain. Such illnesses can...

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Values-based education for more Rotorua students

Values-based education for more Rotorua students

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More Rotorua Students Set To Receive Values-Based Education

In an ideal world, our tamariki would all learn the values of integrity (pono), resilience (taikaha), positive relationships (whanaungatanga) and respect (manaakitanga) at a young age. But in some cases, children are missing out on these life lessons...

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Helping Kōkako Stretch Their Wings

Helping Kōkako Stretch Their Wings

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Helping Kōkako Stretch Their Wings

With electric blue wattles hanging beneath its beak, and a song described as hauntingly beautiful, the North Island kōkako is one of New Zealand’s most ancient flying birds. Its South Island counterpart hasn’t been seen for decades and...

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Looking After Mangakino’s Youth Benefits Entire Community

Looking After Mangakino’s Youth Benefits Entire Community

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Looking After Mangakino’s Youth Benefits Entire Community

Mangakino School is a safe and welcoming space for its 50 or so primary-aged students but after school there is little to do other than hang around the local skate park. That’s why Mangakino Central Charitable Trust’s General Manager,...

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Helping Māori Landowners Embrace a Low Carbon Future

Helping Māori Landowners Embrace a Low Carbon Future

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Helping Māori Landowners Embrace a Low Carbon Future

Over 35% of land in the Bay of Plenty is under Māori ownership and regional Māori economic development agency, Toi Kai Rawa, is taking bold but considered steps to help unlock its potential.   Recognising the complexity of land development...

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Helping Taupos Rural Residents Look Out For One Another

Helping Taupos Rural Residents Look Out For One Another

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Helping Taupo’s Rural Residents Look Out For One Another

Helping Taupo’s Rural Residents Look Out For One Another Joy Johnson knows there are many reasons why rural residents don’t bother to call police when a burglary occurs or stock goes missing. “They think it’ll take police...

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Helping older New Zealanders in Taupo

Helping older New Zealanders in Taupo

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Helping older New Zealanders in Taupo

Helping Older New Zealanders Age Well In Taupo Taupo has always been a popular place to retire and with our ageing population, the need to look after older people in the region is more important than ever. Age Concern Taupo has this group’s...

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Re-connecting & Re-engaging Isolated Youth

Re-connecting & Re-engaging Isolated Youth

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Re-connecting & Re-engaging Isolated Youth

Te Ika Whenua Hauora is used to helping people overcome the impact of isolation.  For almost 40 years they’ve helped remote communities such as Minginui, Ruatahuna, Waiohau and Kaiangaroa from their base in Murupara to combat everything...

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Future Leaders Eastern Bay

Future Leaders Eastern Bay

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Inspiring our Future Leaders in the Eastern Bay

Some of New Zealand’s most inspirational leaders hail from small, provincial towns, and now a youth-lead initiative called Future Leaders is helping light a spark within rangatahi across the Eastern Bay of Plenty and beyond. Since the programme...

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Community Spirit Shines Bright In Katikati

Community Spirit Shines Bright In Katikati

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Community Spirit Shines Bright In Katikati

Sometimes it’s the littlest things that make a community special – like the free ‘help-yourself-to-produce’ stall; the bike repair stand; the yoga class; the school holiday ‘gloop’ session; or the afternoon board games...

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Surfs Up In the BOP This Summer

Surfs Up In the BOP This Summer

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Surf’s Up In the BOP This Summer

With sizzling temperatures forecast and regional lockdowns finally starting to ease, there’s one place Kiwis will be heading en masse this summer – to the beach. Keeping everyone safe once they get there is a job that falls to hundreds of...

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Guardians Of The Lake

Guardians Of The Lake

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Guardians Of The Lake

Surrounded by lush native bush and shimmering every hue of blue and green imaginable, Rotorua’s lakes are the heart and soul of the Te Arawa region. For centuries they have drawn people to the Bay of Plenty to swim, fish, boat, waterski, kayak,...

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Helping Turangi To Stand Proud

Helping Turangi To Stand Proud

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Helping Turangi To Stand Proud

Supporting each other is a recipe for success in any small town – that’s why Safe Turangi is working hard alongside others to ensure Turangi is a proud community where everyone feels safe and connected. Safe Turangi is a small organisation...

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Growing Food, Knowledge & Community Spirit in Taupo

Growing Food, Knowledge & Community Spirit in Taupo

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Growing Food, Knowledge & Community Spirit in Taupō

Our desire to look after our planet, live self-sufficient lifestyles, and reduce our grocery bills is benefitting Taupō Community Gardens as growing your own fruit and vegetables is becoming more popular. “Financially times are tough for a lot...

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Supporting Grandparents To Go Back To Square One

Supporting Grandparents To Go Back To Square One

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Supporting Grandparents To Go Back To Square One

Supporting Grandparents To Go Back To Square One   Most grandparents look forward to spending quality time with their grandkids, spoiling them and celebrating the special milestones in life. But a growing number of grandparents in our...

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1 Million Grant Announced To Help Revive Sick BOP Estuary

1 Million Grant Announced To Help Revive Sick BOP Estuary

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$1 Million Grant Announced To Help Revive Sick BOP Estuary

BayTrust is committing $1 million worth of funding over the next three years to the effort to restore the badly degraded Te Waihī estuary that was once a main food bowl for the coastal Bay of Plenty.   Unimpeded farm development and...

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Matariki Celebrations Draw People Home To The Eastern BOP

Matariki Celebrations Draw People Home To The Eastern BOP

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Matariki Celebrations Draw People Home To The Eastern BOP

Matariki is a time to reflect, celebrate and prepare for the year ahead, and this year people are encouraged to return to their whānau, wherever and whoever that might be. In the Eastern Bay of Plenty, a special celebration will be held on Thursday...

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Could Wetlands Provide Powerful Protection?

Could Wetlands Provide Powerful Protection?

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Could Wetlands Provide Powerful Protection?

Only 10% of Aotearoa’s original wetlands remain intact – yet these diverse habitats may hold the key to protecting our coastal communities from climate change. Mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrasses act as natural flood protection,...

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Connecting Our Community & Closing The Digital Divide

Connecting Our Community & Closing The Digital Divide

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Connecting Our Community & Closing The Digital Divide

Most of us couldn’t imagine life without the internet – but that’s the reality for an estimated 10 per cent of all New Zealanders. Tū Mai Digital is helping Western Bay of Plenty residents who are ‘digitally excluded’...

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Small Town finding ways forward for their youth

Small Town finding ways forward for their youth

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Small Town finding ways forward for their youth

A New Way Forward For Turangi’s Youth Small town New Zealand is a wonderful place to grow up but having ‘nothing to do’ outside of school hours is a problem that generations of youngsters have faced. It seems Turangi may have...

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EDGE Workshops In Demand To Help Struggling Boys

EDGE Workshops In Demand To Help Struggling Boys

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EDGE Workshops In Demand To Help Struggling Boys

When you don’t do well at school, and letters and numbers don’t come naturally, students can shut down very quickly. Many find traditional classrooms difficult and are kinesthetic learners – they learn best by doing, rather than...

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When Inclusion Matters Most

When Inclusion Matters Most

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When Inclusion Matters Most

People with disabilities are often excluded from social relationships, community participation, leisure activities and employment. They’re left feeling isolated with little opportunity to build independence, friendships and valuable life...

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Re-Establishing Wetlands & Turangawaewae

Re-Establishing Wetlands & Turangawaewae

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Re-Establishing Wetlands & Turangawaewae

Kathleen Morrison was 12 years-old when 25ha of her family’s ancestral land was signed over to the Crown to manage – and she was aged 60 when her whanau finally got ownership rights back through the Māori Land Court.  Now she...

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Prestigious Art Competition Remains In Whakatane

Prestigious Art Competition Remains In Whakatane

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Prestigious Art Competition Remains At Home In Whakatāne

Winning the renowned Molly Morpeth Canaday Award is something hundreds of New Zealand artists strive to achieve each year. Named after a Wellington-born expressionist painter who passed away in the early 1970s, the award celebrates artistic...

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Planting The Seeds Of Change

Planting The Seeds Of Change

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Planting The Seeds Of Change

Native plants traditionally used by Māori for kai (food) and rongoa (medicine) are disappearing fast but work is underway to establish a new seed bank and forest garden in Taupō to replace what has been lost. He Tipu Ltd are redeveloping the...

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Whakatane Heart Is Beating Strong

Whakatane Heart Is Beating Strong

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Whakatane’s Heart Is Beating Strong

You can measure a community’s spirit by the size of its heart – and in Whakatane, that heart is sizeable indeed. The Have a Heart charitable trust was founded in 2013. Their purpose is to grow great families at the heart of Eastern Bay of...

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Putting Rotorua Locals In the Driver's Seat

Putting Rotorua Locals In the Driver's Seat

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Putting Rotorua Locals In The Driver’s Seat

No matter our background, physical or mental capabilities, we all want to feel as though we ‘belong’ within our community. Rotorua’s Te Aratu Trust has been helping people with mental and intellectual disabilities do exactly that for...

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Restoring The Mauri Of Te Arawa’s Lakes

Restoring The Mauri Of Te Arawa’s Lakes

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Restoring The Mauri Of Te Arawa’s Lakes

On the surface, Rotorua’s lakes glisten like jewels in the landscape – but in reality they are plagued by pests and poor water quality from years of pollution and irresponsible land use. No-one cares more deeply about restoring the mauri...

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Opotiki's Long Awaited Community Hub Gets Green Light

Opotiki's Long Awaited Community Hub Gets Green Light

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Opotiki’s Long-Awaited ‘Community Hub’ Gets Green Light

Opotiki’s Long-Awaited ‘Community Hub’ Gets Green Light   A library is a key focal point for every New Zealand town but Ōpōtiki residents are in desperate need of a new one. For the past 10 years the old facility has...

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Historic Ōmokoroa Landmark Enters New Era

Historic Ōmokoroa Landmark Enters New Era

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Historic Ōmokoroa Landmark Enters New Era

Every week hundreds of people visit Ōmokoroa Settlers Hall to sing, dance, paint, draw, exercise, pray, meditate, play, craft, sell their wares and socialise with like-minded individuals. The historic venue has been a community focal point since 1929...

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Help Available Amid Tough Financial Times

Help Available Amid Tough Financial Times

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Help Available Amid Tough Financial Times

Working with Taupō locals who are struggling to get on top of their finances is like peeling back layers of an onion, says the Family and Financial Solutions Trust.   “When we see people it’s not unusual for them to only give you...

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Door Finally Opens To Home Ownership For Tauranga Family

Door Finally Opens To Home Ownership For Tauranga Family

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Door Finally Opens To Home Ownership For Tauranga Family

With steady jobs, a combined income of almost $200,000 and a sizeable deposit saved, buying a home sounds like a straight-forward process for Kim and Corey Samuel, and Kim’s parents, Angie and Michael Ryan. But their experience has been far from...

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